By Pamela Bruner
A question that I often receive from my Meridian Tapping clients is 'Do I need to go back into the past in order to move forward?' Then they go on to say, often, that they don't want to look at the past, they just want to move ahead.
As a coach, I have a great deal of sympathy for this position. Coaching, as opposed to therapy, is supposed to deal with the present and the future, and not with the past. But the answer to the question 'Do I need to deal with the past?' is more complex than that.
The answer is: 'it depends!'
It is possible to move forward without reference to the past, both for specific incidents as well as in general. After all, most of the world is moving without having healed the past! However, there are a number of situations in which working with the past is the most efficient or effective way to proceed.
Let's say, for example, that you want to or need to learn to speak to groups for your job or business. Because of an incident in 3rd grade, you're very uncomfortable doing that.
You could make the choice to get a new job, or go into a new business that doesn't require you to speak. That's certainly an option.
If you do feel the need to be able to speak to groups, however, you may want to go back and clear out that 3rd grade classroom embarrassment, if one of these is true:
1) It caused you so much trauma that you just can't get up and speak in front of groups now, and you're completely stopped. In that case, energy work such as tapping, directed at the past, is probably your best option to overcome it.
2) It caused you enough trauma that although you can speak in front of groups, you don't like doing it, and are always looking for ways to avoid it. You're also probably not very good at it, since it's so uncomfortable.
This is the situation that most people are in – they aren't completely stopped by the events from the past, they are just slowed down and often rendered far less effective because of them. You can take the longer, harder road of forcing yourself to speak in front of groups, going to speaking training, etc, until you finally reach some sort of ability to do it. Over time, you may even begin to enjoy it.
You could also try to work with your current fear, and use tapping only on 'I'm afraid of speaking to groups'(your present situation). This would be another technique that would avoid the necessity of going into the past. When you know the specific, originating event that's stopping you, however, clearing that event is almost certainly the most effective way to move forward.
So there are many situations in which working with the past incident is the best (meaning most efficient, most productive) way to proceed.
An exception is when you don't remember an originating event. Then, you may want to work in the present (or with visualized future events) rather than the past event. You can also make up an originating event, but for some people, visualizing what they THINK will happen in the future is easier than creating a totally imaginary memory from the past. (Note that the actual originating event may pop up when you begin tapping on the future event).
It IS possible to clear a fear of an anticipated event without accessing the past. The drawbacks are that it may take longer, and you may find more aspects that need to be cleared. For example, if you clear a fear of addressing a group of people that you know, you may still find fear around addressing a group of people that you don't know, or people from a certain profession. Clearing the originating event can sometimes (not always) take care of multiple aspects more quickly and completely.
All of this discussion so far has centered on whether to focus on clearing past events for a specific issue. There are two other situations in which clearing past events is very important:
1) If you're a healer, coach, counselor, practitioner, or therapist, you'll want to heal your own past. Use the Personal Peace Procedure or some other similar technique to clear out trauma and hurt from your past. This will enable you to be more present to your clients, and not be triggered by issues that they bring to be healed.
2) If you want your life to be easier, clearing out the past is like spring cleaning for your home. All of the traumas from the past are potential triggers for upset, fear, anger, or other negative emotions, which directly impact the quality of your life. Remove the triggers, and when challenging events happen, you just won't feel challenged by them in the same way.
I hope that this helps clear up the question 'Do I HAVE to look at the past?'. The answer? Not necessarily, but it is often the best action you can take.
Pamela Bruner is a Success Coach, EFT Expert, and co-editor of the book EFT and Beyond. Her website: www.MakeYourSuccessEasy.com.